Practical Weight Loss Secret #2

Have you ever eaten so much you feel bloated and sick and just want to lie on the couch?

Why do they call calories energy if the more you have the less energetic you feel?

The reason overeating makes you feel like sleeping is that your body is under significant stress - your surrounding organs are being squashed, your skin is stretched to the max and your system is working overtime to process some of that food.

The fact is that whenever you feel "full" you've eaten too much. Many people describe how they decide when to stop eating as "when I'm full". But if full means too much, how do you tell when you've had enough?

Satisfaction comes from a combination of hormonal reactions to the presence of food and nerves sensing tension or tightness in the stomach wall. The problem is that some of these messages take a while to trigger and reach their target, meaning it's easy to go to far before you get the message that you've had enough.

To overcome this problem, and work along with your new conscious eating practice, think about how hungry you are before the meal. Rate that hunger on a scale of 1 - 5, where 5 is ravenous and 0 is stuffed full. That will help you determine how much to serve at this meal. Don't worry because if you get it wrong and don't eat enough you'll just be hungrier at snack time and can therefore serve yourself a hungry sized snack.

Many people recognise that they never feel hungry and that's because we tend to eat so much, so often that we never reach very high on that hunger scale. We're responding to things other than hunger to tell us how much to eat - like price, portion size and what our friends are eating.

Many people complain when they cut down on food that this makes them hungry. We have a fear reaction to hunger and want it to go away as quickly as possible. The ideal situation would be that we move between about a 2 and a 3.5 on the hunger scale, so we eat when we're at 3.5 - because if you let yourself get to 5 you'll tend to eat quickly and overestimate how much you need. That's when hunger is a bad thing - when it is extreme.

A hunger of 3 is a great thing. It tells you that you've burned up the last meal and now you're using up some of your reserves. Let it get to 3.5 and then take it back down to a 2 with a meal that suits. A rating of 2 - 3 represents satisfaction.

That's what we want - an absence of hunger rather than a sensation of fullness.

Your stomach should not be distended after a meal, there should be no belt loosening required.

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